KERALA TEMPLE FESTIVALS
Kerala has a large number of temples having its own legends and traditions. Festivals of these temples are conducted once in a year on specific days. The religious practices and beliefs associated with these festivals vary from temple to temple.
The ritual behind the festival is that, the deity of the temple, presiding over the welfare of the community, wanted to visit their subjects once in an year. To fulfil this wish, the deity is woken up early in the morning by the priest, bathed, mounted on an ornamented elephant and taken around the houses of the community members as a procession. The deity is received by the residents with rice, coconut and jaggery, as offerings. The procession will be accompanied by the traditional music of pancharimelam or pachavadyam.
Festivals are the occasion for the people to gather together to celebrate and renew social contacts.
Famous temple festivals of Kerala includes Makara vilakku of Sabarimala, Attukal Pongala, Vaikkathashtami, Kodungalloor Bharani, Chottanikkara Makam, Ettumanoor Ezharaponnana, Chettikulangara Bharani, Guruvayoor Anayottam, Aluva Shivarathri, Thrissur pooram, Uthralikkavu Pooram, Peruvanam Pooram, Kottakkal Pooram, Mannrkkadu Pooram, Chinakathoor Pooram,Kollam Pooram, Thirumandamkunnu Pooram, Thirunakkara Pakal Pooram, Neelmperoor Padayani, Nenmara Vallangi vela, Edakkunni Uthram Vilakku, Thathamangalam Kuthira Vela etc.
Folk, ritual and classical music – dance performances, floral decorations, Elephant Procession, traditional rituals, carnivals, fireworks display – all are added attractions in these festivals, which show case the diverse elements of Kerala culture.